When members of a young adult volunteer group decided to get their hands dirty to support the Green Earth clean-up campaign, they made a pile of difference – several piles.
More than 60 of the Save the Earth from A to Z, We are One (ASEZ WAO) members and families, friends, and co-workers, gathered at Mayfield Park, Ōtara on 23 April and cleaned almost 8km of Mayfield Park including around the river, which is a protected area.
Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board Chair Apulu Reece Autagavaia says, “Unfortunately, the current budget constraints will very much mean there will be less funding for our local board activities, including cleaning up our waterways. Nonetheless, thank you to all our volunteers and community groups for coming out to help keep our natural environment clean. I urge our community to keep our awa clear and keep rubbish out”.
Kara Goddard, Auckland Council Community Parks Ranger (South) says, “The team collected more than five tons of rubbish. It’s just so disappointing to see so much waste being dumped in our awa and parks. Rubbish breeds rubbish so hopefully this will help dissuade people from dumping more”.
Members searched the park and streets and gathered waste plastic, plastic bags, cigarette butts, paper cups and general household rubbish. ASEZ WAO Officer Daniel Kim adds, “We hope this can wake up people's awareness and unite in the prevention of climate change”.
He goes on to say, “For the protection our living place, young adults were uniting in one mind. I hope all the people in this world will join this activity to let them know about the importance of protecting the environment.”
Auckland Council welcomed ASEZ WAO members, and supplied 40 rubbish bags, 15 pickup sticks, landing nets, gloves, and buckets. Kara says, “We need to encourage the community residents to take pride in the environment. I was very pleased to have the team clean-up the area to help the planet and to help mother.”
Charlotte Liddicoat, Ōtara Waterways and Lake Trust Community Coordinator who are proudly supported by the board said, “We need to keep plastics out of waterways to reject single-use plastic products that are detrimental to the environment. Our volunteers recognize that the clean-up of parks is important for children to have safe places to play and explore”.
ASEZ WAO is an international volunteer service group that consists of the World Mission Society Church of God Young Adult workers from 7500 churches in 175 countries.
The ASEZ stands for “Save the Earth from A to Z” and WAO adds “We Are One Family” which means “Let us save the earth from the beginning to the end as one family.”
They have received various awards from officials in New Zealand and across the world. You can read more about the group’s activities here.
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